Normal Prop Chains Weren't Realistic Enough For Hulu's New Hellraiser [Exclusive]

The "Hellraiser" franchise has endured for 35 years, but there hasn't been a decent entry in the series since 1992's "Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth." So all director David Bruckner had to do with his 2022 reboot, which is set in the same universe as the previous installments, is deliver something watchable. He's done a good deal more than that. The new "Hellraiser" is a gloriously return to gory form. What it lacks in novelty, it more than makes up for with a fierce commitment to flesh exploration. His Cenobites, led by Jamie Clayton's Pinhead, literally get their hooks in you, and flay your every last nerve.

Speaking of hooks, those bad boys are attached to chains, which, for Bruckner, needed to look as unforgivingly taut as possible. He certainly pulled this off. Once the Cenobites get to shredding (especially in the knockout third act), you completely buy the characters' agony. Unlike the last few movies in the series, there's nothing cheap-looking about this movie. The torture is wincingly real.

You will never break these chains

In an interview with /Film's Rafael Motamayor, Bruckner shared the secret of his flesh wending ways:

"I think in any of the chain sequences, really, was to have torque in the poles. Typically when you rig an actor up and you attach chains to them, they can't be real chains, they can't be the weight of metal, necessarily. But we really wanted the body to move and conduct and respond. And so we had to design a chain system that you could attach to a harness underneath that could play as a practical chain on camera, but was also a kind of resin mold."

This set-up allowed Bruckner and his crew to maneuver the chains any way they wanted. "An actor could support real weight," he said. "So moments like that with Aoife, moments with Joey in the beginning, moments with Voight later on, and even some degree with Colin, all of those — that's practical stuff at work."

A puzzle box of practical pain

There's nothing more offensive to a true gorehound than CG violence, so hats off to Bruckner for demanding a tactile degree of torture. If you've seen the film, you're probably still grimacing at the Cenobites' inventive means of inflicting pain on their subjects. If you haven't you should steel yourself for the gnarliest "Hellraiser" in three decades. It's an exquisitely painful pleasure to know the Cenobites are back in the hands of a filmmaker who understands what made Barker's adaptation of his novella "The Hellbound Heart" so horrifyingly memorable.

Bruckner's "Hellraiser" is now streaming on Hulu, so break out your Lament Configuration. These sick puppies have such sights to show you.